Friday and Saturday mornings (June 10 and 11, 2016) we gathered in a short plenary to begin the day listening as two peacebuilders shared a story that captured a lesson they had respectively learned about how to build peace.
Thomas King, an important indigenous writer in Canada said: “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” How we tell stories shapes our lives and helps us make sense of the world. Hearing each other’s stories is part of our own journey of transformation. To help us understand what it means to ‘build peace’ -- to be a ‘peacebuilder’ -- we invited four individuals from diverse contexts to offer a story and lesson from their own life.
Friday our storytellers were Dann Pantoja and Christina Asheervadam. Dann shared a story of bringing together Muslims and evangelical Christians in Mindanao, Philippines. Christina shared a story about responding to a student-related conflict using restorative justice in Telangana, India.
Saturday our storytellers were Jenny Neme and KyongJung Kim. Jenny relayed a story from their experiences of working together as churches and church organizations to impact the peace negotiations and conversations between the government and FARC in Colombia. KyongJung shared his journey of personal transformation from wanting to be a soldier in South Korea to becoming Mennonite and committed to pacifism.